Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay recognized Michael Powell as our 2021 Virginia Watershed Champion

It was with great pleasure that the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay recognized Michael Powell as our 2021 Virginia Watershed Champion at “The Taste: Celebrate 50 Years” on September 23rd. His vision for John B. Cary Elementary School’s Eco Campus has prioritized outdoor learning and environmental literacy. Not only has he added trees and gardens to the campus, but his sensibility to stormwater runoff and replacing turf has created an outdoor space where all students can become environmental stewards.

Mr. Powell is the current Principal at John B. Cary Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia. He is a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia, where he earned a B.S. degree in Science. Mr. Powell continued his education at Howard University, earning a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. After his distinguished service as a FireFighter and Emergency Medical Technician, he chose to be proactive in the lives of children and became an educator. Michael decided to save lives in the classroom instead of on the sometimes-cold streets of our nation’s capital.

For Mr. Powell, science education is pivotal to student success. Therefore, he volunteers his time as a coach for many after-school science-related activities. Of particular interest is Cary Elementary School No Child Left Inside environmental science program. He has lead Cary to receiving both local and national recognition for school-wide environmental stewardship practices.

Mr. Powell has committed his entire life’s work to enrich the lives of others. He has dedicated many of his energies to forwarding education, particularly those who often find themselves voiceless in society. Mr. Powell sincerely believes that to secure a better future, all people must continue to learn from past lessons. Thus, he has spent an extraordinary amount of his time and physical resources in the area of social justice.

Mr. Powell,

Thank you for being an advocate for all students. The No Child Left Inside initiative and the new eco-campus at John B. Cary will transform the learning environment. The opportunities this provides our scholars truly makes a difference. Scholars can see learning in every space around them. Instead of just reading about butterflies, we can visit the garden and see them up close. Instead of talking about living and non-living things, we can do our own outdoors investigation.Thank you for being the face of that.

Ashley Bland, 2021 RPS Teacher of the Year

Ashley Bland
Richmond Public Schools

Congratulations on receiving the VA Watershed Champion award Michael! Your commitment to Cary's eco campus is admirable and I'm so proud to have contributed to a project at your beautiful school. I'm so pleased the students will be welcomed back to school with so many new outdoor amenities. Keep up the good work and I look forward to working with you in the future!

Christina Bonini
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay